Rodney Norton is a seasoned medical malpractice trial attorney and partner at the Hart Wagner law firm. He has tried more than 125 jury trials in state and federal courts, including jury trials in the majority of trial courts in Oregon, as well as trial courts in Alaska and California. His trials have included numerous “wrongful” death and catastrophic injury cases, as well as large numbers of severe injury cases ranging from complex surgical complications to brain injuries to alleged delayed diagnosis of cancer. He has represented medical, dental, and nursing professionals in arbitrations, mediations, and regulatory matters too numerous to list. He is a frequently invited lecturer to health care organizations and professional groups on malpractice issues and trial practice.
Rod began his legal career in 1977 as an Assistant Attorney General in the Trial Division of the Oregon Department of Justice. His early litigation years were spent defending the State of Oregon in a wide variety of trials involving personal injury, civil rights, and complex litigation throughout the State of Oregon. The range of trial issues included claims against the State involving alleged use of excess force or false arrest by State Troopers, alleged failure to prevent child abuse of children who were wards of the State, car crashes involving cars driven by public employees, car crashes because of missing stop signs or icy roads or highway construction/design, injuries and deaths from accidents at State parks, and more.
Rod became Trial Counsel for Oregon Health & Science University in 1980. He was OHSU’s trial attorney from 1980 through 2002, with exclusive responsibility for trial defense of all medical, nursing, and dental malpractice claims and lawsuits against the University and its faculty and students during those two decades. The Oregon Health & Science University is Oregon’s only academic medical center.
Rod joined Hart Wagner LLP in July 2002. He became a partner shortly thereafter, and quickly developed an active trial practice. He continues to represent the Oregon Health & Science University in medical and dental malpractice lawsuits. He now also represents a host of other hospitals, clinics, physicians and dentists in Oregon, including, as examples, physicians insured by CNA and The Doctors’ Company, clinics such as The Oregon Clinic and The Portland Clinic, as well as hospitals such as Adventist Health, Tuality Hospital, and Kaiser Foundation. He also represents Rite Aid pharmacies in pharmacy litigation and has developed a practice defending food-borne illness cases. He has been retained by the State of Oregon Department of Justice to represent various medical professionals in complex civil rights cases involving medical issues, and is a Special Assistant Attorney General.
When he isn’t practicing law, Rod spends as much time as possible in and around water. He is a whitewater rafter who often is referred to as Big Water by his friends because of his love for huge river rapids. He has rafted most of the rivers in the Pacific Northwest and has led private groups down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on three different multi-week trips. Although it is a more sedate sport, he recently has developed a passion for stand-up paddling on local lakes and rivers. Rod also loves to sail, and he can be found as much as time permits on Northern Star, his navy blue Sabre 426 sailboat, in Puget Sound, leeward rail buried, sails trimmed and full, grinning from ear to ear.
Trial lawyer with more than 125 jury trials in Oregon, California, and Alaska
Medical and dental malpractice defense
Representation of professionals before professional licensing boards, including OBME, OBD, and OBN
Representative clients include The Doctors' Company, CNA, Portland Adventist Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, PeaceHealth, Kaiser, Rite Aid
ADMITTED TO PRACTICE
Oregon State Courts, 1977
US District Court: District of Oregon, 1977
District of Alaska, 1989
District of Wisconsin, 2001